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PhillT

FSLabs A320 CFM: co-pilot does not everything he should

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Hello!

My system: Windows 10 1809 (german), P3D v4.3, MCE 2.7.8.8 
My aircraft: FSLabs A320 CFM
My Addons: GSX 2, Active sky and sceneries, nothing else.

I purchased MCE two weeks ago and most things work pretty nice. I switched my Windows to US in order to do the speech training and then switched back to german. Co-pilot understands almost everything I say. But there are a few issues I need some help:

Frequency dialing

I advise the co-pilot for example: "select com one standby frequency one two three decimal four five". He reads back correctly. After a while he says "set", but the frequency hasn't changed. I tried this many times through the whole flight (about 2 hours, even after landing), but without success. Why is this? How can this be improved?

 

Co-pilot saying random things

Form time to time, the co-pilot starts saying random things like "need confirmation" or "I didn't understand" or any other phrases. This is disturbing (especially during VATSIM ATC communication) and doesn't help me to trust him... what if he starts doing things he shouldn't? Why does he start chatting without any reason?

 

Messing up the FCU during MCE startup

I understand that MCE tries to figure out what the FCU settings are. But the co-pilot dials speed to 100, setting a random heading and disengaging managed mode. Strange thing is: after this, I am not able to engage managed mode any more until performing the takeoff. Why is this?

 

Wrong callouts

On last flight he did callouts for the first time, like "100 knots" a takeoff... but at about FL 310 he surprisingly called out: "10.000 feet" (or something like that). Well, that's acceptable, but how can this be improved?

 

Flight controls check

SIdestick check performs fine most times - sometimes he doesn't recognize for example "full down" or "full right", sometimes he does. But rudder check is always a mess. He says "full left - full right", even when I don't perform the full rudder check. Is this a bug?

Thank you for your help!

 

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28 minutes ago, PhillT said:

Hello!

My system: Windows 10 1809 (german), P3D v4.3, MCE 2.7.8.8 
My aircraft: FSLabs A320 CFM
My Addons: GSX 2, Active sky and sceneries, nothing else.

I purchased MCE two weeks ago and most things work pretty nice. I switched my Windows to US in order to do the speech training and then switched back to german. Co-pilot understands almost everything I say. But there are a few issues I need some help:

First, welcome aboard.

Frequency dialing

I advise the co-pilot for example: "select com one standby frequency one two three decimal four five". He reads back correctly. After a while he says "set", but the frequency hasn't changed. I tried this many times through the whole flight (about 2 hours, even after landing), but without success. Why is this? How can this be improved?

FO can handle COM1 but not the standby COM, because although we can get him to rotate the dials, we haven't managed to read actual Standby COM1 value at any given time

Co-pilot saying random things

Form time to time, the co-pilot starts saying random things like "need confirmation" or "I didn't understand" or any other phrases. This is disturbing (especially during VATSIM ATC communication) and doesn't help me to trust him... what if he starts doing things he shouldn't? Why does he start chatting without any reason?

Either a very noisy cockpit or poorly calibrated microphone.

No need to worry though. Almost every single potentially disruptive action is ring fenced with a need to confirm before FO goes ahead with the task. This isn't VoiceAttack, speak the wrong thing and your flight is doomed sort of scenario. FO is trained for good airman-ship. By default keeping silent for the next 10 seconds following a prompt, means "No thanks, ignore that". Try commands such as "irs off", "shutdown engine one", "set parking brake" (when airborne), "retract gear" (on ground) etc...

Messing up the FCU during MCE startup

I understand that MCE tries to figure out what the FCU settings are. But the co-pilot dials speed to 100, setting a random heading and disengaging managed mode. Strange thing is: after this, I am not able to engage managed mode any more until performing the takeoff. Why is this?

Until there is an SDK to ease the process, this is required for Fo to work out those values. He's making sure they aren't set to zero (the reason for the seemingly random increments).

Suggest you let him do so and not set FCU modes until he worked out HDG, ALT, VS and QNH settings

Wrong callouts

On last flight he did callouts for the first time, like "100 knots" a takeoff... but at about FL 310 he surprisingly called out: "10.000 feet" (or something like that). Well, that's acceptable, but how can this be improved?

There are all sorts of call-outs including V1, Rotate, V2, "one thousand to go", "transition altitude", "transition level".

Will look at why 10000 feet call-out happened this late.

I assume you aren't manually overriding affinity m,asks and such (Lasso or other tools), like only assigning a single core to "mce.exe".

MCE is multi-threaded and needs at least 2 cores at any given time. The process itself doesn't use too many resources, however, since it also runs the entire speech engine inside "mce.exe", you don't want all its threads, that are active in "bursts" (when something is recognized) to fight over a single core.

For instance, call-outs are run on a low priority background thread.

Flight controls check

SIdestick check performs fine most times - sometimes he doesn't recognize for example "full down" or "full right", sometimes he does. But rudder check is always a mess. He says "full left - full right", even when I don't perform the full rudder check. Is this a bug?

I suggest you calibrate your rudder pedals.

Be aware, when you call "flight controls check", Fo will start monitoring the axis for a number of seconds. If you take too long to move the stick, he'll stop monitoring (to prevent hurting performance) and you'll have to make a second request to get him going.

You can perform the check more than once if you wish. It's not a scripted thing.

 

 

Thank you for your help!

 

You're welcome.

Answers embedded in your OP.

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Thank you for your reply.

I understand your explanations and the reasons of the observed behavior.

For Standby frequency, this is very bad, because dialing in frequencies should definitely be a co-pilot's job, because it needs much attention and prevents the captain from looking outside the window 😉

Suggestion: if the problem is that MCE has to work out the status only once to have a reference... why not offering an input dialog where I could enter the starting values at the very beginning?

Like this: if in FSLabs after co-pilot has boarded, a popup window appears: "Captain, please help me with the starting values of ... Speed, Heading, Com frequencies and so on" ... Or - as MCE is all about voice... just answering the co-pilot's questions: "Captain, please say heading" - "one three five" - "one three five, Thank you" 😉
 

Speaking only for me: I would definitely use this feature in order to get full benefit of your great product.

Greetings!

 

Edited by PhillT

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2 hours ago, PhillT said:

Like this: if in FSLabs after co-pilot has boarded, a popup window appears: "Captain, please help me with the starting values of ... Speed, Heading, Com frequencies and so on" ... Or - as MCE is all about voice... just answering the co-pilot's questions: "Captain, please say heading" - "one three five" - "one three five, Thank you" 😉
 

Speaking only for me: I would definitely use this feature in order to get full benefit of your great product.

 

 

This wouldn't work because at any time you could manually adjust SPD, HDG, VS, ALT, QNH, therefore Fo needs to be able to read the actual value at any given time, and not have a refrence value which he updates based on voice based dialling commands..

We managed that by writing a VAS scanner that actually locates them. And it's working OK, except for speed that can only be worked out when airborne for some reason.

FO is able to dial COM1. 

The only deviation from standard is that instead of dialing standby COM1 then swapping it, he dials it directly into COM1.

You can use commands such as "going to ground", "switching to tower".

With native P3D and FSX ATC, can even use commands such as "going to Heathrow tower", "over to Frankfurt ground", as FO is able to monitor the native ATC text. He gets the frequencies to dial  from there.

 

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2 minutes ago, FS++ said:

This wouldn't work because at any time you could manually adjust SPD, HDG, VS, ALT, QNH, therefore Fo needs to be able to read the actual value at any given time, and not have a refrence value which he updates based on voice based dialling commands..

We managed that by writing a VAS scanner that actually locates them. And it's working OK, except for speed that can only be worked out when airborne for some reason.

FO is able to dial COM1. 

The only deviation from standard is that instead of dialing standby COM1 then swapping it, he dials it directly into COM1.

You can use commands such as "going to ground", "switching to tower".

With native P3D and FSX ATC, can even use commands such as "going to Heathrow tower", "over to Frankfurt ground", as FO is able to monitor the native ATC text. He gets the frequencies to dial  from there.

 

Ah okay, I see... I didn't think about that... of course you are right.

I always fly on VATSIM, so I have to check if dialing COM1 directly will work also with VATSIM/vpilot. Never tried that before.

Thank you very much for your effords! Great job!

 

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1 hour ago, PhillT said:

Ah okay, I see... I didn't think about that... of course you are right.

I always fly on VATSIM, so I have to check if dialing COM1 directly will work also with VATSIM/vpilot. Never tried that before.

Thank you very much for your effords! Great job!

 

You're welcome.

With Vatsim, you have to specify the frequency with commands such as

"com one, one one eight decimal seven" (with decimal)

"radio one, one twenty three point five two five" (with "point")

"com one, one eighteen seven".(without specifying decimal)

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Just to report:

Yesterday, once again co-pilot did the "10.000 feet" callout at about passing FL310.

To give you an idea of my PC: CPU Intel i7-4790K, 16 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970.

Nothing running but P3D, ActiveSky, TrackHat.

I guess my PC is powerful enough to have MCE running normally?

Thank you!

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The issue of the rudder is not due to the calibration, as I'm experiencing the same behaviour, but from following thing. The flight control check is a mess if performed during the pushback especially if the plane during the pushback is not going straight, on that occasion I always have rudder left ( or right, but here I'm not sure ) without touching the rudder.

Can you fix it?

thanks

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